Listen to part of a BBC interview with Spanish ballerina Tamara Rojo and match extracts 1-6 with the corresponding heading A-H. There are two headings you do not need to use.
A - A bit of a maniac
B - An idol
C - Family background
D - Fitness is essential
E - How it all started
F - My place in the world
G - Obsession for ballet
H - Sudden realization
All of that generation wanted their children to achieve more than they had achieved. You know, it’s a working class people wanting to make the next generation middle class, so how do you become middle class? You go to university. I mean, my generation and the generation after me are probably the most educated generation in Spain because all of our parents wanted us to achieve what they couldn’t, which is go to university, learn languages, have a career like a doctor or a… something that feels like you’re better off than we are.
For my father it was an article that came out in The Times. I happened to be at the cover of The Times and one of his colleagues at work said, oh you must be very proud. And something changed. He suddenly thought, my god, I’m blind, you know, she’s really quite special, and achieved so much that from them on it was completely the opposite. He read everything about ballet, knows more about ballet history than I do. It’s completely different now.
I remember in the summer there was like a summer school and you could do one class, two classes. I would always do all of the classes. I would be there from 9am until 6pm, regardless of what they were teaching, sometimes doing the same class twice, just to be in a ballet class.
Everything from the costumes I’m really finicky about the costumes and how they have to fit and how that has to help my proportions, but even in class, you know, what I wear every day, it’s just a leotard but it’s always the same cut of leotard, and when they stop doing those things, it’s a drama for me because I have to find something else that it’s exactly the same. So, yeah, I am quiet maniatic of things like that.
For me Sylvie was absolute perfection. For me was what a ballerina should be. And I have seen her dance both in videos because at the time it was really difficult without internet. She was almost like an illegal trade, you know, someone would bring a new video from Paris and it would spread through the school. I’ve seen her in videos, and I’ve seen her in a gala performance. I remember I went to ask her. There’s only two people I have ever asked for a signature, and one was her, and she was really angry because she didn’t want to be seen in a rehearsal so she bollocked me completely for being there in the first place.
I think people in England are not aware of how lucky you are. Artists are free to create whatever they want. That is not the case in many other countries and so I think I’ve become a liberal in that way, that Britain is such a liberal country that I would find it very hard to live elsewhere.
1C 2H 3G 4A 5B 6F